U.S. and Canada cooperate on biofuels, clean energy

By Erin Voegele | June 26, 2012

The U.S. DOE and Environment Canada released the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue Action Plan II on June 21. The plan outlines the next phase of activities the two countries plan to undertake to jointly advance clean energy technologies.

According to the DOE, the new action plan renews the commitment between the U.S. and Canada to involves work in several areas, including biofuels, carbon capture and storage, smart grids and energy efficiency.

“This plan is ambitious and demonstrates our continued commitment to international collaboration to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and ensure that both of our nations benefit from the tremendous opportunities in clean energy,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The United States and Canada are working together to continue to address technology gaps to support the development and deployment of new clean energy technologies into the marketplace.”

Regarding advanced biofuels, the plan notes that both countries are pursing second- and third-generation biofuel development from a wide range of feedstocks across multiple technology pathways. The plan states that by sharing information and working collaboratively on technical investigations, the development pathways can be shortened. In addition, both countries agree that cooperation can lead to more effective investment of public research and development funding.

According to the plan published by the DOE and Environment Canada, planned biofuel initiatives include:

  • - Joint national biomass network workshops to determine shared interests and challenges in working toward one or more memorandums of understanding to collaboratively resolve shared technical and market challenges
  • - Investigation of pyrolysis using multiple feedstocks and catalytic upgrading to identify promising commercialization pathways
  • - Fuel testing to help lower costs and reduce the time needed to certify performance parameters of emerging biofuels
  • - Sharing information on conversion potential of available biomass to energy and inventorying federal initiatives related to biofuel sustainability and performance


“The Clean Energy Dialogue strengthens our efforts to collaborate on innovative clean energy solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said the Canada’s Minister of the Environment Peter Kent. “It is our hope that the transformation of our economies and our joint work will identify clean energy solutions that will contribute to making sustainable energy a reality for all.”